Accidents can happen at any time, in any place. Many people damage their teeth as a result of accidents such as falling or tripping, road traffic accidents or injuries sustained during sporting activities or fighting.
What should I do if I break a tooth?
If you break your tooth, it is important that you keep hold of your tooth and arrange to see your dentist as soon as possible. If your normal dentist does not offer out-of-hours appointments, you can see another dentist. If you cannot find a dentist, you should visit the nearest Accident and Emergency department. Try to keep your tooth in a glass of cool water or milk. If you are able to get treatment quickly, your tooth may be salvageable. Try to avoid touching the root portion of the tooth and hold it by the crown.
Even if you do not think you have broken your tooth, it is important you see your dentist as soon as possible as you may have damaged the surrounding tissue or the area of the tooth under the gum line.
Treatment for a broken tooth
If you have seen a dentist early enough, they may be able to salvage the tooth. The dentist will examine your mouth and try to re-implant the tooth if this is possible. Your dentist may carry out X-rays to check for other damage and they may attach a splint to the tooth to support it.
If the tooth has been lost and cannot be re-implanted, your dentist may advise you to consider options to replace the tooth. This may include dental implants, a dental bridge or dentures if a number of teeth have been lost.
Preventing accidents and injuries
It is impossible to prevent accidents sometimes, but there are steps you can take to try and protect your teeth. At home, try to reduce the risk of falls by keeping corridors and stairwells clear and covering sharp corners on pieces of furniture. If you play contact sports such as boxing, rugby or hockey, protect your teeth by wearing a mouth guard.